Milk Thistle Seed
Also known as St. Mary's Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle, and Holy Thistle
History: Milk Thistle originated in Mediterranean region but quickly spread throughout Europe. Today is grows wild throughout Europe, North America and Australia. The Milk Thistle plant received its name from the milky white hue of some its pink flower veins. According to a medieval legend, the Virgin Mary spilled milk on the plant while nursing her child. Due to this story, many people were wrongly led to believe that eating the plant led to increased lactation. However, Milk thistle was also used as a treatment for liver dysfunction, serpent bites and as an antidote for liver toxins. Nicholas Culpeper, a well known British herbalist from the mid 1600, reported that Milk Thistle was effective for relieving obstructions of the liver. In 1898, eclectic physicians Harvey Felter and John Lloyd stated that the herb was good for congestion of the liver, spleen, and kidney. Native Americans also used Milk Thistle, but as a remedy to treat boils and other skin diseases.
Modern Uses:The Commission E approved the internal use of crude milk thistle fruit preparations for dyspeptic complaints. Formulations* are approved for toxic liver damage and for supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis.
The German Standard License for milk thistle seed tea infusion indicates its use for digestive disorders, particularly for functional disturbances of the biliary systems. liver damage caused by chemicals, Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning, jaundice, chronic inflammatory liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and chronic hepatitis, loss of appetite, heartburn, gallbladder complaints, diabetes, hangover, diseases of the spleen, prostate cancer, malaria, depression, uterine complaints, increasing breast milk flow, allergy symptoms, and starting menstrual flow.
Active Ingredients: flavones silybin, silydianin, silychristin, bitter principle, mucilage
Actions: cholagogue, galactogogue, demulcent